By Rebecca Drew
THIS YOUNG woman has beaten anorexia after bullies in her cheerleading team would purposely drop her on the floor during practice while complaining she was too heavy despite weighing just EIGHT-STONE.
Social media worker and actress, Racquel Symons (20) from Orange County, California, USA weighed just 6st 5lbs at her lowest after cruel taunts from her fellow cheerleaders lead to her to stopping eating. She lived off two hard boiled eggs with yolks removed, a packet of tuna and some vegetables washed down with plenty of water and tea a day.
Racquel had no energy and slept all day, it wasn’t until her Dad reached out to a sports nutritionist to help her that she started to get into bodybuilding. Now, Racquel is a super healthy 8st 6lbs and eats five meals days to support her muscle gain.
“I suffered from my eating disorder for a little less than a year. In high-school, I was a cheerleader (a flyer) and the bases, the girls who would pick me up, would complain that I was too heavy when I was eight-stone at my heaviest,” said Racquel.
“They wanted to be flyers too so they would purposely drop me to make me look bad, I believed them and I completely stopped eating. I lost almost two-stone in less than two-months.
“It was awful. I started fearing food the more weight I was losing. I would only eat a little bit of vegetables and one or two hard-boiled eggs and that was it for the whole day.
“The more I did this, the more my body got used to it, I wasn’t really hungry at all anymore. I had no energy, I slept all the time.
“There would be many mornings when I would walk downstairs and my mom would just burst into tears. It broke my heart. She would tell me all the time that I’m not just hurting myself, I was hurting my whole family.
“My Dad who’s always been into working out, would go to this nutrition supplement store, Max Muscle all the time. He knew the guy who worked there very well who was a sports nutritionist and begged him to help me out.
“He put me on a diet plan to get my metabolism up and to get me healthy again. I immediately fell in love with working out, I was addicted. I found out after about competing and I was in awe of the girls. They inspired and motivated me beyond belief. All I wanted was to work towards being an NPC competitor.”
Two years on, Racquel has competed in nine NPC bodybuilding shows, two of which were national shows. She came first in her second National show where she became an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Bikini Pro.
“Overcoming anorexia has been a huge weight off my shoulders I lived my life fearing food and had anxiety about gaining weight. It held me back from doing lots of things,” she explained.
“I never wanted to go anywhere or be social but now I can have a social life and not want to kill myself if I eat out or have a treat.
“What I found most difficult about my recovery was telling myself that I won’t gain a stone-and-a-half if I have a slice of pizza and ice cream and that it won’t kill me or ruin my body. It was hard for me to realise that.”
Racquel works out six days a week and says her friends and family are proud of how far she has come. She hopes to be able to inspire others to get help.
“They are all very proud of me, they all say how much better, healthier and happier I look now. At the time, I thought I looked good. Looking back now, it’s pretty shocking I didn’t see what I see now,” she added.
“I would tell other people to get help, to ask for it. In the back of my mind I wanted someone to ask me if I was ok and to say that I needed to get help because no one seemed to understand the pain I was in.
“I felt hopeless and I wish I could have spoke up sooner. Don’t give up, you are worth it and beautiful at any weight. Weight doesn’t define you.
“I would also say that girls and boys should do their research about the body, health and nutrition as that was my big problem because I didn’t know how to eat healthy and lose weight in the right way.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/thelittlefitgirl